The Red Hourglass
Kyle / Bissett Productions
Scottish Storytelling Centre
It's a testament to the comedic abilities of Alan Bissett that, given the spotlight on a stage and a pair of women's boots, that it's all but impossible for him not to be funny. As he has repeatedly shown in both incarnations of his Moira Monologues, he has a sly wit and a piercing ability to embody relateable personalities.
Surprisingly, in this reprise of his 2012 Fringe show, the characters are decidedly... inhuman. Instead of the inhabitants of Falkirk, this time Bissett's anecdotal chats come from a series of tiny inhabitants in a St Andrews University laboratory. Most of which are of the arachnid persuasion.
It's a bit of cheeky fun and, while the tales do lean a little into the predictable, especially towards the ending, there's no end of chuckles to be gleaned from Bissett's wry delivery. As he flits from a Scottish house spider, to a Venezuelan tarantula, and even a sultry black widow, he embodies each with a unique personality and story. What's more impressive is the range of accents he manages to engage to comic effect, in addition to the wealth of genuine factual information that went down a treat.
It's a nice bit of fun that might just tickle the toes of spider lovers, but arachnophobes should probably beware.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan